Doctors speak out on bizzare case of baby with 14 needles in her body

The baby was x-rayed last year and was found with 14 needles in her lower part of the body.
Two witnesses have testified in the case of the 10-month-old baby doctors found with needles in her body.

Before a Thika court Kiprotich Ng'etich, a doctor at the Thika Level 5 Hospital, testified on behalf of the doctor (identified only as Dr Miring'u) who has been moved to a different department and who, therefore, was not available to testify.

Mr Ng’etich said according to the P3 form filled by Dr Miring'u, the baby was taken to the hospital by the parents with symptoms of pneumonia that included fever, diarrhoea, and vomiting.

Upon further treatment, the baby was also found to have scars on her buttocks whereupon she was x-rayed and found with 14 needles in her lower part of the body.

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The witness said the parents had not reported any pain or sitting difficulties with the baby to the doctor.

After further examination, the doctors identified scars thus pointing out to the possibility of intentional harm by the care givers.

 Nge'tich told court that one of the needles was not removed because it was deeply entrenched as to cause nerve injuries on extraction. Doctors therefore recommended further treatment.

According to Ng’etich, the health department report indicated the baby was dehydrated which was visible in her eyes. Her white blood cells were excessive, indicating she had an infection. The second witness, Corporal Esther Wangu, produced the needles removed from the baby's body as exhibits to the court.

 She testified that  investigations revealed that the baby was sometimes left in the care of the other wife of the  of the father Isaac Gichura (the first accused) who was living in the same house with the second accused Jacinta Ndunge together with their children.

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 Cpl. Wangu said they noticed surgical operation scars on the baby when rescuing her and arresting the two suspects.

 In his defence, Gichura said he could not have brought the baby to the hospital if he was aware of the needles in her body.

 Jacinta, on her part, said she could not harm her baby as she was not a first time mother adding that there is a probability that the doctors inserted the needles to fix her.

 She also requested the court to kick reporters out during the proceeding but the request was rejected by the court as she could not demonstrate the reason for it.

Prosecutor Beatrice Kariuki said the matter was of public interest and that journalist had always followed the proceedings.

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 Thika Resident Magistrate Brenda Bartoo set the ruling on whether the two have a case to answer on May 9, 2018.

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